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“Casing the joint”: Explorations by the insider‐researcher preparing for work‐based projects

Barbara Workman (Middlesex University, London, UK)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 10 April 2007




The paper aims to explore factors that impinge on the “insider‐researcher” (IR) when undertaking a work‐based learning project, which will result in the creation of a context analysis framework.


A qualitative, interpretative approach with the IR as central to the research process, together with data from students work‐based projects, research literature and texts, and an academic advisers' focus group.


Themes of benefits and constraints identified the organisation, the clients and co‐workers and the IR benefiting from work‐based projects. The positionality and personal attributes of the IR may be a constraint. Of major consideration are ethical issues arising from the project process. Academics' concerns include student supervision, the impact on the IR, and factors affecting change and project processes.

Research limitations/implications

A small study constrained by the researcher being central to the data and therefore introducing potential bias to the interpretation.

Practical implications

The creation of a context analysis framework as a tool to assist the work‐based student, the academic and the workplace in preparing to implement a work‐based project.


No similar analysis tool has been published. This can contribute significantly to the work‐based curriculum. The issues that concern researchers, academic practitioners and work‐based students during a work‐based project have not been previously investigated. A good practice guide for projects can result from this.



Workman, B. (2007), "“Casing the joint”: Explorations by the insider‐researcher preparing for work‐based projects", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 146-160.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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